Thursday, May 26, 2011

Gone with the Wind: First Lady Approved

So here's a tidbit my co-blogger iso, great admirer of well-dressed women of all times, dug out and that we thought you might enjoy. Windies, you're in classy company! It turns out Jackie Kennedy Onassis was a Gone with the Wind fan too. Here's the excerpt from her biography:
"Thayer's biography tells of the books Jackie read when she was young. She read Gone with the Wind three times. There were ways in which some of the operatic characters from the book resembled people in Jackie's own family. Jackie's mother, Janet, divorced Jackie's father, Jack Bouvier, in 1940, when Jackie was eleven years old. The man who got his nickname, 'Black Jack,' from his permanent suntan spent the rest of his life in a succession of New York apartments, sometimes looked after by girlfriends, sometimes not, spending beyond his means and trading on the stock exchange. Janet remarried in 1942. Her new husband, Hugh Auchincloss, was a rich man, the heir to Standard Oil money, which he used to found a stock brokerage in Washington, D.C. He maintained a big house called Merrywood in Virginia and another, Hammersmith Farm, in Newport for the summer. He had a son from a previous marriage, just two years older than Jackie, who was known in the family as Yusha.

"Yusha Auchincloss remembered that Jackie also loved the movies, and Gone with the Wind was one of her favorites. 'Rhett Butler reminded her of her father, Scarlett O'Hara of her mother,' he said. The grand southern house of the movie, Tara, reminded her of Merrywood and Hammersmith rolled together. Jackie's stepbrother also though that Jackie 'had a lot of Scarlett's qualities, the same ones her mother had, good and not so good.' Jackie grew up patterning herself on one of the most famous temperamental divas of the 1930s and '40s, both the character in the book and Vivien's depiction of her on the screen. Scarlett O'Hara could be shrewd and selfish as well as self-sacrificing, and it's difficult to tell which of those features drew Jackie to read about her again and again. Jackie might also have seen that her own family dramas sometimes paled before the melodrama on the page, and in that sense the saga of Scarlett and Rhett was a comfort" 
-- from Reading Jackie: Her Autobiography in Books by William Kuhn
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